Notre Dame – USC Renew Series Through 2023

Notre Dame - USC Rivalry
Notre Dame and USC will be continuing their yearly rivalry through at least 2023. (Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports)

The continued security of the Notre Dame – USC rivalry, the greatest intersectional rivalry in all of college sports, was never in doubt since Notre Dame announced that they would be joining the ACC in all sports except football this year.  On Wednesday, the two schools made it official in announcing that they have renewed the series through 2023.

Despite agreeing to play five ACC opponents a season as part of the deal to join the ACC in all sports except football, the series with USC was never in doubt even though the Irish did previously opt out of the current agreement with rival Michigan.

The USC game, however, will continue to be one of the most prominent contests on the Notre Dame football schedule through at least 2023 as part of the latest agreement.

In a statement released earlier today, USC athletic director Pat Hayden said:

“Not only are we pleased to be able to extend our storied series with Notre Dame, but we were able to keep the game on the traditional dates of Thanksgiving weekend in Los Angeles and mid-October in South Bend,” said USC athletic director Pat Haden. “Adding the series with BYU, which is a great matchup for the fans of both teams and for all college football fans, helped us in that regard.

After first playing in 1926 under then head coach Knute Rockne, Notre Dame and USC have continued the rivalry over the years, playing every year since 1946.  In that time, Notre Dame has compiled  a record of 44-35-5 against the Trojans of Southern California.

As part of the extension of the rivalry, the games in Notre Dame Stadium will continue to be played in mid-October while the games in Los Angeles will remain on Thanksgiving weekend as been the tradition in this rivalry.

USC will visit Notre Dame this year for another prime-time match-up in Notre Dame Stadium on October 19.  Notre Dame has won two of the last three meetings between the two schools after Southern Cal went on a run of eight straight victories over the Irish from 2002-2009.


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  1. OK.. Who started it?

    Interesting ND-USC facts:

    USC first fielded a football team in 1888.
    Playing its first game on November 14 of that year against the Alliance Athletic Club.
    In 1893, USC joined the Intercollegiate Football Association of Southern California which was composed of USC, Occidental College, Throop Polytechnic Institute (Cal Tech), and Chaffey College. Pomona College was invited to enter, but declined. An invitation was also extended to Los Angeles High School.

    Before they were named The Trojans in 1912, USC athletic teams were called the Methodists, as well as the Wesleyans

    Between 1911–1913, USC dropped football in favor of rugby. The results were disastrous, as USC was soundly defeated by more experienced programs while the school itself experienced serious financial losses.

    Re-establishing football, in 1922, USC joined the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC),the forerunner of today’s Pac-12.

    Notre Dame and USC played their first game in 1926, a 13–12 win for the Irish. (A game initiated by Rockne) Rockne was quoted as saying it was the greatest game he ever saw. The following year, Notre Dame and USC would play a memorable game at Soldier Field in Chicago, a 7-6 Irish victory. An estimated 120,000 people were in attendance, a crowd that is still considered to be one of the largest attended games in NCAA history.
    Up until this time, the majority of elite college football programs played their games within their own geographical area. (for ND it was Army, Navy, Yale, ect.. on the East coast)
    The ND – USC games were some of the first games that pitted East vs. West. It captured the attention of the nation, and brought in a new era to college football.

    A prominent factor in the creation of the ND-USC series is the connection between both schools’ coaches in the Mid 20’s, Knute Rockne and the USC coach Howard Jones. Following Notre Dame’s 1924 championship season, Rockne was approached by USC to take over its football program. While Rockne ultimately turned down the offer, he recommended that USC look at his friend Howard Jones, whom he knew from taking his Notre Dame teams to play Iowa. USC took Rockne’s advice and hired Jones.

    This confirms that Rockne lent the Trojans a helping hand in recommending that they hire Iowa’s coach Howard Jones, after USC fired “Gloomy Gus” Henderson. The creation of the series was then influenced by their friendship, and by Jones’ desire to take USC to Notre Dame’s elite level.

    After several decades of competition, USC first achieved national prominence under head coach Howard Jones from 1925 to 1940, when the Trojans were just one of a few nationally dominant teams. It was during this era that the team achieved renown as the “Thundering Herd”, earning its first four national titles.

    From 1928-1932, USC and Notre Dame combined to win the national title five straight years, with USC winning in 1928, 1931 and 1932, and Notre Dame winning in 1929 and 1930. During this period, there was some talk of canceling the series, due to the long amount of travel time it took by train from South Bend to Los Angeles. Rockne argued for the series against the Notre Dame faculty board and its chair, countering that “he saw the day coming when most college teams will be playing at least a few games outside their geographical footprint, and doing so by air travel exclusively”.

    Thankfully, this series has been renewed through 2023!

  2. What about it C-Dog!

    Has the tide turned? Do you thing we’ll get the USC bold and brazen bravado this year? Who’s favored?


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